Highlights from the 2014 LA Auto Show

Mirror

The reflection of a user's finger 'touches' a museum artifact, causing a projected pop-up ...

Perhaps you've been in a situation where you noticed that your reflection in a window looked like it was actually standing amongst the items that were visible through that window. Now, scientists at the University of Bristol have taken that phenomenon and incorporated it into an experimental new interactive display. Among other things, it lets users select objects seen through a pane of glass, using the reflection of their finger on that glass.  Read More

The CaseCam features a camera lens mirror that folds away when not needed

Ah yes, it's a problem for the ages. You want to be in a photo taken with your own unmanned smartphone, but you have no way of propping the phone up, or seeing what the shot looks like. Well, the CaseCam is designed to help. It allows a phone laid down on a flat surface to see what's in front of it, plus the accompanying app lets you see what it's seeing.  Read More

The Lookout, by architectural students Angus Ritchie and Daniel Tyler (Photo: Ross Campbel...

Two Scottish architectural students recently designed and built a novel observation point that sports a reflective facade in the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park, Scotland. The Lookout offers a quiet place from which to appreciate the natural beauty of the area, and boasts views of Loch Voil and Loch Doine.  Read More

The RoofScope mounts on the hood, and is viewed from the driver's seat

If you carry a boat, bicycle or pretty anything else on the roof of your car, you probably spend a lot of time wondering if it's still securely in place up there while you're driving. The problem is, there's no way of seeing it without stopping and getting out of the car ... unless you have a RoofScope, that is.  Read More

The CSIRO has generated 'supercritical steam' at a pressure of 23.5 MPa (3,400 psi) and 57...

Researchers at Australia's CSIRO have claimed a world record for the highest temperatures ever achieved using solar energy to generate "supercritical" steam at its solar thermal test plant in Newcastle, Australia. Featuring more than 600 directional mirrors (heliostats) directed at two towers housing solar receivers and turbines, the researchers produced the steam at a pressure of 23.5 MPa (3400 psi) and 570° C (1,058° F).  Read More

Fraunhofer's thermic-piezoelectric deformable mirror could be applied in high-powered lase...

One cinematic cliché we've all seen is when the hero deflects the villain's dastardly laser beam with a hastily snatched hand mirror, sending it back at his adversary. Physics, ever the wet blanket, says that this is a highly improbable scenario. Focusing high-powered lasers isn't easy. A powerful laser distorts the mirror, throwing the beam off and spreading it out uselessly. To combat this, Fraunhofer is developing a lens that can deform itself to compensate for heating and other distortion factors to keep lasers focused on target.  Read More

iStrategyLabs has built a mirror that takes photos of people and then posts them to Twitte...

For those who must tear themselves away from gazing into the mirror in order to take a selfie, iStrategyLabs has come up with a solution. SELFIE is a mirror that takes a snap of the user and shares it to Twitter. It is at once a nifty implementation of technology and a humorous comment on society.  Read More

A kitchen mirror concept paired with a Kinect-like camera

Every now and then we get demonstrations of really innovative new technologies and concepts that almost no one has any chance of being able to own anytime soon. The best place to undergo this particular form of torture is at the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. This year at CES, a really fantastic "smart mirror" concept from Toshiba fit the bill.  Read More

The Lucid Stead is based in Joshua Tree, San Bernadino County, California (Photo: Steve Ki...

What lives in the desert, changes color throughout the day, and is powered by sustainable energy? That would be the chameleon-like Lucid Stead, by artist Phillip K Smith III: an Arduino-equipped, solar-powered shack in Joshua Tree, San Bernadino County, California.  Read More

The RearViz at Interbike 2013

There’s no doubt that using a rear-view mirror makes it safer to cycle on public roads. That said, some riders may feel that a bike-mounted mirror is just one more bit of handlebar clutter. The RearViz mirror offers an alternative – it mounts on the rider’s arm.  Read More

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